Lamb Balti

balti.jpg

Another day, another curry. I go through phases. I had a hangover today so needed something comforting and rich to sort me out.

This was intense but intensley satisfying. Really delicious. There are a shitload of ingredients but don’t panic, if you suddenly find yourself obsessed with Indian food you’ll have almost all the store cupboard ingredients you’ll ever need in your lifetime.

INGREDIENTS:
1kg lamb (cut into cubes)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or ghee if you want to be a fatty)
1 large onion (finely chopped)
3 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 tablespoon fresh corriander (chopped)

For the curry paste:
4 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 cinamon seeds (crumbled)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons cardomom seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
6 whole cloves
20 fresh curry leaves
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons chilli powder
3/4 cup malt vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS:
To make the curry paste. Dry fry in a small pan one at a time the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon, fennel seeds, mustard seeds and cardomom seeds for about 2 minutes each.

Transfer to a food processor, spice grinder or pestle & mortar and grind into a fine powder. Add the curry leaves, bay leaves, turmeric powder, garlic, ginger, chilli powder and vinegar. Mix well.

In a large pan, heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil over a medium heat. Add the paste and cook for 5 minutes. remove from the heat. Spoon the paste into a container with a lid and leave to cool. This paste will be more than you need so you can store the rest in the fridge and it will stay fresh for AGES.

To make the balti. In a wok or large pan add a litre of water to 1 tablespoon of the curry paste and the lamb. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to very low and cook, covered, for 50 minutes until the lamb is almost tender. Drain and reserve the sauce.

Wipe the wok clean and place over a medium heat. Melt the oil or ghee, add the onion and fry for about 5-6 minutes until golden. Add the garlic and garam masala and cook for another 2 minutes. Increase the heat, add 4 more tablespoons of curry paste. Return the lamb to the pan and cook covered for about 5 minutes until it has browned slightly. Gradually add the retained cooking liquid while stirring. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the coriander leaves and 1 cup of water and simmer again for 15 minutes or until the meat is tender and the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to your taste.

SERVING:
Plain boiled rice and Naan.

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